Science, Tech & Environment

The Maker Movement that was born in the USA has taken on Chinese characteristics

The Maker Movement was made in the USA, but it's now gone global, to dozens of countries, encouraging people to (re)discover the joy and satisfaction that comes from making something with your own hands, to go from just consuming to also producing. But what if you've already been making for decades, as the factory of the world? Chinese makers embrace the fun and creativity in the movement; the government sees it as a tool to increase China's innovation and drive economic growth. They want to add structure and control. But what if unstructured fun is a path to innovation?


Panama Papers, 'pirates,' and an argument for how (some) data leaks can make the world a better place

Where does privacy end and accountability to society begin? The Panama Papers are only the latest massive data dump to add fuel to the fire of that debate. Smari McCarthy, a long-time information activist and innovator, and cofounder of Iceland's Pirate Party, helped process the Panama Papers, as chief technology officer for the Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project. He argues that in a world of increasingly concentrated power and wealth, more transparency and direct democracy are needed to right the balance.

Health & Medicine

The fight is on over e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarette ads are on TV. New York City is restricting e-smoking in the same way as it restricts tobacco smoking. And government data indicates that 10 percent of high school students have tried e-cigs. Now, researchers are racing to figure out how they will impact public health.

Conflict & Justice

New York City's hijacked hashtag launches a global conversation on police brutality


When the New York Police Department encouraged its followers on Twitter to share photos of themselves with NYPD officers, the result was not what they expected. Two days later, the hashtag has been mimicked in a half dozen cities around the world to showcase police brutality. But the social media effort has had another consequence: it has started a global dialogue about the perception of police and policing in different cities.